• Kynance Cove
  • Zennor
  • St Michael’s Mount

Walking In Cornwall: Our 7 Favourite Cornish Walks

One of the best ways to explore Cornwall is on foot. There are lots of lovely walks in Cornwall, and we’ve selected a few of our favourite routes for you to try on your Cornish holiday.

Lace up your boots, load up your backpack, and get ready to hit that footpath.

Padstow to Harlyn Bay

Sandy beaches, smugglers’ caves, dog-friendly pubs… This 7-mile hike has everything you could want from a Cornish walk.

It starts at Padstow harbour (handy if you’re staying in one of our Padstow holiday cottages, otherwise park in the Harbour Car Park). The first mile is easy-going, so it makes a nice short walk if you’re looking for a gentle stroll. After that, it becomes more challenging as you pass Gun Point and head along the rocky cliff path.

You’re rewarded at the end by arriving at the beautiful Harlyn Bay, which is a great spot for a refreshing dip. It’s not a circular walk, so you can either retrace your footsteps or catch the bus to Padstow from Harlyn Bay car park.

For a detailed description of the walk, visit the excellent South West Coast Path website.

Perranporth to St Agnes

For a shorter and more moderate clifftop walk, try this 3.6-mile stretch of coast path between Perranporth and St Agnes. There’s only one really steep bit, and the views are absolutely stunning.

There’s a choice of car parks in Perranporth, plus an overflow in the summer. You pick up the path at the west side of the town, heading for Droskyn Point. The route then takes you along the coast, through a fascinating old mining landscape (and BBC Poldark locations!).

St Agnes itself is a lovely spot for some lunch or a refreshing pint before heading back along the coast or picking up the bus back to Perranporth.

Again, the South West Coast Path website has a detailed description of this lovely Cornish walk.

St Ives to Zennor Circular Walk

This 12-mile circular walk is one of our favourites (we’ve written about the St Ives to Zennor walk in more detail). 

If you’re not staying in St Ives, the closest long-stay car park is Barnoon (in the summer, we suggest using the Rugby Club park and ride, which takes you close to the start of the walk). Set off from the west side of Porthmeor Beach, and follow the increasingly rugged path along the coast. It can be quite a challenging stretch, and both you and your dog have to be super-confident on your feet/paws.

At Zennor Head, leave the coast path and head inland towards the village. Pause a while at the pub before looking out for the footpath signs near the church. The inland return route follows the old “Coffin Path”, once the journey taken by pallbearers between St Ives and St Senara’s Church. Despite its rather gothic name, it’s a pretty route that passes through ancient field systems, farms and hamlets.

St Michael’s Way, from Lelant to Marazion

Retrace the footsteps of pilgrims along the 12.5-mile St Michael’s Way, which runs between the two coasts of the Penwith Peninsula. You start at Lelant near St Ives and cross the countryside to Marazion, heading for that famous place of pilgrimage, St Michael’s Mount.

The walk starts at St Uny Church then heads inland at Carbis Bay. There are some steep climbs, including Knills Monument and Trencrom Hill (optional), but these are worth it for the astonishing views. 

At pretty Ludgvan (pub stop alert), you have the choice of two routes for the final leg: via Marazion Marshes or via Gulval village. In wet weather, we definitely recommend the latter! If it’s open, complete your pilgrimage with a trip over to St Michael’s Mount.

The route is clearly waymarked; however, you can also download a map of the St Michael’s Way.

Kynance Cove to Lizard

The landscape of the Lizard peninsula is gentler than the wild north coast and Penwith. This circular 4.5-mile walk starts at breathtakingly lovely Kynance Cove and leads you to Lizard Point with its lighthouse. You head back inland across beautiful heathland.

Park at the National Trust car park at Kynance Cove (you’ll recognise this beach from numerous travel guides: it’s one of Cornwall’s most photographed spots). 

The National Trust guide to the Lizard walk is excellent, pointing out things to look out for, from wildlife to abandoned lifeboat stations. 

Sandymouth to Duckpool

Sandymouth is a pretty pebbled beach near Bude, and the starting point for this enjoyable 4.5-long circular walk.

It’s classed as “moderate”, and makes a great morning or afternoon out with a dog who loves a good walk. The route takes you inland through an ancient wooded valley, which is especially lovely in the springtime and autumn.

There’s a car park, cafe and loo at Sandymouth. Again, we recommend the National Trust guide, which highlights the key points of interest. 

Fowey Hall Walk

It’s time for yet another change of landscape, with this charming 4-mile walk along the creeks and through the pretty woods near Fowey. To add to the excitement, this walk involves two ferry crossings.

The circular walk begins at Bodinnick Slipway near the Old Ferry Inn. Follow the National Trust route for some stunning views out over Fowey, with its colourful boats and higgledy old streets.

The moderate walk is another good one for dogs, and they are welcome on Bodinnick ferry. There are lots of places to eat and drink in Fowey itself, and of course, the route does start and end at a pub!

Relax After Your Cornish Walk

After a bracing stank (the Cornish word for walk), there’s nothing like relaxing in your comfortable Cornwall holiday cottage, either in front of the woodburner or on the sunny patio (delete according to season).

We also have a great choice of dog-friendly holiday cottages for you to enjoy with your favourite walking companion.

Planning your next trip?

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